personalized search by Google

People are wondering just how personalized a personalized search is. Google alters your search results based on you and your personality and others in aggregate or just how other people previously searched for the same things.

Personalization based on geography

Google has long personalized searches depending on several factors in order to come up with search results which are tailor made to suit the needs of the user.  One of the most popular factors for personalized search is geography or location. These days search results are not just based on country; it is mostly based on your locality.

For example, if you search for zoos, you will be likely to get results about zoos in your local area and in nearby areas.

Personalization based on search history

Another factor used in personalizing search results is the search history.  If you are signed in to Google and have enabled web history feature, Google will remember everything that you have searched about before. Even if you are already signed-out, Google will still personalize your results because they keep a record for one hundred and eighty days.

Google will also give you a message letting you know that you have visited certain sites how many times and the last time you did so. If you keep going back to a certain site, you are giving Google an idea that you might like that site very much and this will lead Google to give the site a boost. This is the oldest form of personalization which Google does on a daily basis.

Personalization based on personal sharing

Social signals can also have a huge effect on the search results you get when you use Google. Personal sharing can have an impact on the results which Google will give you. Because of the popularity of social media and social media platforms, the power and presence of results based on personal sharing grew dramatically over the last few years.

Personalization based on social connections

Social media platforms allow people to connect with one another and with companies.  Things that have been shared by people with their connections on different social media platforms are going to have better rankings compared to those which do not. This is one of the reasons why it is very important for businesses to have their very own social media pages.

Personalization based on previous query

Personalization based on history has been mentioned earlier and one variation of this which Google is also using is the things you searched before you did a completely different search to determine if using both terms will help refine your results. This is also referred to as “previous query refinement”.

Mass personalization

Mass personalization is not just based on one person’s previous search results but on everyone’s previous queries.  This happens for a wide range of people and not just on an individual basis.

The magic keyword

What causes a word or phrase to have that magical ability to influence searches in the future? Google really would not say other than the fact that query popularity is related to it.

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